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Violent Crimes

Violence is treated as a very serious matter in the law, and the laws around violent crimes reflect that mentality. Punishment for any kind of assault or other violent crime is severe, and will result in a criminal record that will show the person convicted is a dangerous individual.

However, violent crime accusations can be the result of false or exaggerated claims. Mild altercations can be raised to felony assault charges by overzealous prosecutors. And people who used force in self defense can find themselves the subject of criminal accusations.

Philadelphia Violent Crime Defense Lawyer

If you've been accused of any kind of violent crime, including assault, reckless endangerment or harassment, you don't have to go it alone. A tough, experienced Philadelphia violent crime lawyer can be on your side. At Alva & Shuttleworth, LLC, we are zealous advocates for those accused of any kind of violent crime.

We will fight for your rights, seeking to have evidence suppressed and your charges reduced or dismissed. Call us today at (215) 665-1695 to set up a consultation.

We represent those facing violent crimes charges across the Philadelphia area, including in Bucks County, Montgomery County, Chester County and Delaware County. We also can represent those charged anywhere in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.


Pennsylvania Violent Crimes Information Center


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Assault Charges in Pennsylvania

Assault charges in Pennsylvania are defined by either attempting to cause or intentionally causing bodily injury, negligently causing injury with a deadly weapon, or intentionally putting another person in fear of serious bodily injury (18 Penn. Cons. Stat. § 2701). This is sometimes called battery or assault and battery, but in the Pennsylvania statute, it is called "simple assault" if there are no aggravating factors.

Simple assault is a second degree misdemeanor. If the alleged assault occurs during a fight or scuffle, it is a third degree misdemeanor. If the accused is older than 21 and the victim younger than 12, it is a first degree misdemeanor.

An assault can become aggravated assault and a first degree felony if seriously bodily injury is involved (18 Penn. Cons. Stat. § 2702). Aggravated assault as a second degree felony can occur if a deadly weapon was used or if there was a simple assault on one of several government employees, including firefights and teachers, while in the course of their duties.

A simple assault on a law enforcement officer can also result in a first degree felony charge.

Sometimes, people have a justifiable use of force — for instance, in self defense. However, sometimes people who use this necessary force are accused of assault. Self defense is an affirmative defense, meaning that your Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer must prove it to the court.

At Alva & Shuttleworth, LLC, we fight for the rights of people who used necessary force in self defense and, as a result, are falsely accused of a crime.


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Other Violent Crimes in Pennsylvania

Disorderly Conduct (18 Penn. Cons. Stat. § 5503):

Disorderly conduct is fighting, threatening, making unreasonable noise, using obscene language or gestures or creating a hazardous or physically

Reckless Endangerment (18 Penn. Cons. Stat. § 2705):

Reckless endangerment means that the accused, without concern for the consequences, engaged in an act that put another person in danger of death of serious injury. It is a second degree misdemeanor.

There does not need to be any injury or any intent to cause injury. A common way reckless endangerment charges arise is by people shooting guns into the air after sporting events or on holidays.

Kidnapping (18 Penn. Cons. Stat. § 2901):

Kidnapping is a first degree felony. Kidnapping involves removing another person and taking them a substantial distance away, or confining that person in an isolated place with one of several intentions.

The intentions include holding the person hostage, using the person as a shield, holding the person for ransom, to facilitate another felony, to terrorize another person, to inflict bodily injury on the person, or to interfere with a government or political function.

Harassment (18 Penn. Cons. Stat. § 2709):

Harassment involves communicating repeatedly anonymously or at extremely inconvenient hours, using obscene, threatening or lewd language, repeatedly committing acts with no legitimate purpose, follows the person around in public places and/or subjects the person to physical contact, and the intent is to harass, annoy or alarm the person.

Depending on the allegations, harassment can be either a summary offense or a misdemeanor of the third degree.


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Levels of Punishment for Philadelphia Violent Crimes

The level of punishment you will receive depends on whether the crime is a felony or a misdemeanor, and what degree of felony or misdemeanor it was.

  • Summary Offense: Up to 90 days in jail and a $300 fine
  • Third Degree Misdemeanor: Up to one year in jail and a $2,000 fine
  • Second Degree Misdemeanor: Up to two years in jail and a $5,000 fine
  • First Degree Misdemeanor: Up to five years in jail and a $10,000 fine
  • Second Degree Felony: Up to 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine
  • First Degree Felony: Up to 20 years in prison and a $25,000 fine

Additionally, you will have a violent crime permanently on your record. People whose record makes them appear like a violent criminal may have difficulty getting the job they dream of, attending the school they hope to attend or renting an apartment they want to live in.


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Alva & Shuttleworth, LLC | Philadelphia Attorney for Violent Crimes

A violent crime conviction could dramatically impact your life. You can fight the charges, and our defense attorneys at Alva & Shuttleworth, LLC can help. A skilled Philly violent crime lawyer can make the difference between losing your liberty and walking away free. We'll challenge evidence and seek to have your charges reduced or dropped. Call us today at (215) 665-1695 to schedule a consultation.

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